This is the famous crispy duck; one of the signature dishes at one of Hong Kong's most talked about restaurants, Hutong. It's on my mind because B's mum, sister, and two nieces arrive on Sunday to stay with us for a week, and we are really looking forward to having family here!
But, whenever visitors come, so does the inevitable question: "should we take them to Hutong?"
It's very much a show-off place... the sort of place you bring people who think it's a bit weird that you live in Hong Kong (which is most people), and you want to show them that Hong Kong is actually a pretty wow-ish place. The 'wow' moment usually happens when the guests sit down to a Hutong champagne and glance out the window. It literally has one of the best views I've ever seen, of one stunning looking city.
Right above Hutong is its sister franchise, a bar called Aqua which does a serious lychee mohito. So its customary to begin at Aqua and mosey on down to Hutong. With the perfect vantage point for the Hong Kong skyline at 8pm light show - it really is an experience.
It's - of course - not cheap, and is meant to replicate decadent "old world China"... which it does well. All the furniture is made of beautiful and imposing antique wood, gentle silk curtains drop down from the ceiling, and the restaurant is famously littered with bamboo bird cages.
The menu, on the other hand, is where I start to vague out... its based on traditional Northern Chinese food, and is elaborate, spicy, and often features a head or some other body part that really doesn't belong on my plate. Admittedly their crispy de-boned lamb is incredible, but I'm still getting used to Canton food. In this case, my duck arrived with its head split in two!
It's considered a real plus here to receive an entire animal on your plate - brains, booty, the whole enchilada. It proves to the guest that they have received a complete and dedicated animal... um, thanks, but I'll take your word for it!